The New York Giants received really bad news earlier this week when linebacker Jon Beason suffered a torn ligament and a sesamoid fracture of his right foot — an injury that is expected to keep him out for up to 12 weeks. But one man's loss is another man's gain, and with Beason sidelined, rookie linebacker Devon Kennard has now been handed an incredible opportunity on a silver platter.
Although there was no way for him to know this sort of opportunity would come his way, Kennard admits he's been preparing for it since the very moment he was drafted.
"I spend hours in my playbook trying to make sure, because if you know what you're doing, you can play fast and not have to worry about that," Kennard said. "That is what I'm using this time for and all the reps I'm getting out there every day, I'm getting more and more comfortable and taking control of everything more and more. So it's going smooth so far."
After Beason went down earlier this week, Kennard was one of the first men up in practice and didn't miss a beat — something that impressed head coach Tom Coughlin.
"He’s picked things up very well. He’s very smart, very good on the board. He’s done a nice job on the field, a good job on special teams," Coughlin said. "We’re excited about him. A nice big kid, strong kid."
Initially, Kennard split reps at middle linebacker with Jameel McClain, but if he continues to show up and perform at a high level, the Giants may be comfortable enough to move through training camp and preseason with him as their No. 1 MLB. He had already surpassed Mark Herzlich (at least in the practices open to the media) on the depth chart, taking most of the second-team reps and appeared poised to back-up Beason.
While losing a team leader and game-changer like Beason is never a positive, should he return by Week 1, all of these extra reps and additional playing time can only serve to help both Kennard and the Giants moving forward.
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